Lancaster city centre road reopens after complaints

Work gets underway at the Caton Road student development site.
Work gets underway at the Caton Road student development site.
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A main road into Lancaster is open again after complaints about traffic jams.

The stretch of Caton Road around the back of Kingsway had been reduced to one lane for up to 12 weeks to help developers working on a new 632-bed student village.

But the lane closure was lifted on Monday after complaints that it caused traffic chaos on the one-way system.

More than 1,700 people signed an online petition, set up by The Bay radio and backed by our two local MPs David Morris and Cat Smith, and businesses, to open the Parliament Street right-hand turn at the bottom of Skerton Bridge to traffic while the lane was closed.

But on Monday Lancashire County Council did a U-turn and reopened the Caton Road lane early.

A county council spokesman said: “The lane closure on Caton Road was agreed for safety to allow for work to the retaining wall as part of new development taking place to build student accommodation on the adjacent site.

“The wall is to be taken down and moved back to allow construction of a lower wall, and footway to create better pedestrian access in this area.

“In light of the impact on traffic we have reviewed the closure which had been agreed, and the lane closure will be taken off today while we consider measures to minimise disruption while this work takes place.

“We will consult with all interested parties before any further closure is agreed.”

Groundwork is under way to create several blocks of student accommodation with a library, gym and cinema.

Developers say it will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider area.

Hines UK Ltd, an American company with offices in London, said the work would take around two years to complete.

The site is scheduled to open for the 2019 intake of students.

The development looks set to be the biggest of its kind in the city centre in recent years.

It includes eight buildings for student accommodation and a flagship rounded building on the corner of Bulk Road and Caton Road.

The site has been derelict for a number of years and has been described as an “eyesore”.